Gillette has decided to put a new spin on its 30-year tagline, “The Best A Man Can Get,” by asking in a new ad, “Is this the best a man can get?” The company ran an online commercial that implies the history of American masculinity as being filled with sexual harassment, bullying and cruelty – and suggests that a new masculinity is needed to overcome all the male transgressions of the past.
A Gillette spokesperson explained, “We are taking a realistic look at what’s happening today, and aiming to inspire change by acknowledging that the old saying ‘Boys Will Be Boys’ is not an excuse. We want to hold ourselves to a higher standard, and hope all the men we serve will come along on that journey to find our ‘best’ together.” Rather than finding our best, many men with be intimidated by the ad. To take offense at the message is to be labeled as part of the problem.
David French observed, “the masculinity wars are about more than unquestionably bad acts. They veer into the very nature of masculinity itself.” While condemning toxic masculinity the ad has no idea of what healthy masculinity might be. What must be rejected is the “woke” version of masculinity, which puts all men in the same box. A “good” masculinity can be found in our identity with Christ. This means dying to the elements of “bad” masculine that are part of our fallen nature, so that we might raised to live in the “good” masculine. Paul says, “For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God” (Col. 3:3). The true masculine is hidden in every man. In Christ it can come forth, through death and resurrection.
When actress Jessica Chastain thanked Gillette, “for the reminder of the beauty of men,” saying further, “I’m so moved by your call to action,” she has no idea of what a good man is like nor what action he needs to take. Could it be that the call for action is politically and economically motivated. In my opinion it will take godly men modeling a healthy masculinity to make a difference in the gender debate of our day.
Thankfully there was a rather strong backlash to the ad, evidenced in an online debate that followed. In responding to the controversy, Pankaj Bhalla (Gillette Brand Director for North America at the time), noted Gillette’s intention is a redefining of Gillette’s longtime tagline, “The Best A Man Can Get.” “Our ultimate aim,” he states, “is to groom the next generation of men, and if any of this helps even in a little way we’ll consider that a success.”
The Gillette ad will do little in helping groom the next generation of men, especially for men who are desiring to be led by the Spirit of God. There will be more ads in the future. They are driven by hidden agenda of wanting to please the politically correct crowd and with an eye on the profit margin. It will breed more confusion, anger, and resignation in many men.
My advice – listen again to the words of Jesus: “Haven’t you read that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female’ and said ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh'” Matt. 19:4-6). Come to the Lord and allow him to bring forth your “good” masculine self. Paul encourages us, “continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose” (Phil. 2:12-13).